By adrbr @ 2010-08-12 15:12:09
The fortress was built around 1229 by Al-Aziz Uthman, nephew of Saladin and younger son of Al-Adil I, to pre-empt any attempt on Damascus by the Sixth Crusade. It was named Qala'at al-Subeiba, "Castle of the Large Cliff" in Arabic. It was further expanded to contain the whole ridge by 1230, and Baibars strengthened it and added larger towers after 1260. The castle was given to Baibars's second-on-command, Bilik. The new governor started the broad construction activities. When the construction was finished, Bilik memorialized his work and glorified the name of sultan in a 1275 inscription. After the death of Baibars, his son arranged for Bilik to be murdered, apparently because he feared his power.